Too much for Moncada? Not so fast
The total package for 19-year-old Cuban free agent Yoan Moncada is reported to be $63 million — $31.5 million to Moncada and a $31.5 million penalty the Red Sox have incurred.
In talking with Ben Badler of Baseball America, Moncada is regarded as a true five-tool player. Although not big-league ready, he is considered to be polished. You just don’t find 19-year-old polished five-tool baseball players too often and when you do, it’s difficult to get your hands on them.
The name Byron Buxton has been thrown out as a comp for Moncada, the current No. 1 or No. 2 prospect in baseball, depending on which publication you read. Teams rarely have a chance to draft players like Buxton, who went second overall in 2012. The Red Sox haven’t had a top-five draft pick since 1967. They’ll pick seventh this year in what early projections are calling a weak draft.
So about the money. Moncada will be in the system like every other minor-league player. He could end up a Super-Two depending on the time of his major-league call-up but for simplicities sake let’s just say the Red Sox will have him for six full major-league seasons on year-to-year deals.
A fair assumption through his three non-arbitration and three arbitration years is $20-22 million in salary. That brings the total package for the Red Sox to six years and $83 million to $85 million.
Dustin Pedroia over the final six years of his current deal with the Red Sox will make $84 million.
Will Moncada be as good, better or worse than Pedroia? Only time will tell. But the tools and polish tell the Red Sox he’ll be good, and they never get a chance to draft a player like Moncada or Buxton. So they have to take on risk and outbid everyone else to get this level of young talent. The same goes for the other good teams that were in on Moncada but fell short, like the Yankees and Dodgers.
Moncada is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the Red Sox, so they made sure they got their man. The deal is also an eye-opener for new commissioner Rob Manfred, one that could ultimately lead us to a worldwide draft. That drops the odds of the Red Sox ever getting a Moncada-type player even further — don’t think they didn’t know that, too.